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Wiigwaasi-Jiimaanikewin: Building Culturally-Situated Health Programs

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Tim Frandy, PhD (bio)

March 25 2014

32 minutes


In the summer and fall of 2013, the UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) supported a program to teach Ojibwe youth the art of birchbark canoe building.  Paired with a master canoe-builder, these youth endured the grueling harvest of natural materials from the deep forests of the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation, and they labored through the construction of the canoe on the UW-Madison campus.

This program partnered UW-Madison faculty, staff, and students with Lac du Flambeau’s ENVISION program and Ojibwe elders to teach this complex and demanding art.  The program was designed as a holistic and culturally-engaged approach to health, incorporating traditional beliefs, methodologies, and concepts of wellness into its approach.

This brownbag lecture will survey the project, discuss the importance of recognizing the relationships between health and culture, and showcase how working with cultural offices and institutions in communities can lead to successful community-engaged projects.  We will also discuss strategies for community engagement, and explore the resources that CCHE offers scholars interested in developing their own community-engaged research.

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